Bangkok warned of flood threat as heavy rain predicted

Residents in 27 at-risk communities in Bangkok have been warned to brace for floods this weekend as heavy rains are expected from tomorrow (Friday) until Monday.

All the flood-prone communities, home to around 1,200 families, are located along the Chao Phraya River in areas that have no embankment.

However, having an embankment is not always a guarantee against flooding.

Such is the case in Sukhothai, which has seen water from the Yom River seeping in even though the level is not overflowing the embankment.

"The water is seeping in from under the embankment," Science Minister Plodprasob Surassawadee said yesterday in his capacity as the chair of the Water and Flood Management Commission (WFMC).

He believed the problem stemmed from the fact that the embankment does not have foundation poles, and the high water pressure is causing the seepage.

He added that the WFMC has recruited engineers from private companies in a bid to quickly and efficiently end the flooding in Sukhothai.

The commission is also urgently examining embankments in Nakhon Sawan, Sing Buri, Angthong and Ayutthaya.

"We have to identify the riskiest spots and try to minimise that risk," Plodprasob said.

According to Plodprasob, the embankments in Sukhothai, Sing Buri and Angthong were constructed in 2001. However, the embankment in Nakhon Sawan is newer.

'Unprecedented'

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra yesterday reckoned that relevant authorities would have to shift their focus on provinces downstream from Sukhothai.

"We are now assessing the situation and trying to prepare solutions for all possible scenarios," she said.

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